President Obama has apparently tired of hearing Republicans pointing out that he’s yet to put his debt reduction plan on paper. According to multiple reports, Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget, set to be released next week, will largely match the final “grand bargain” offer Obama made to Speaker John Boehner in December 2012. That offer, and next week’s budget, reportedly will include billions in cuts to Social Security and Medicare and trillions in new tax hikes.

Obama’s Social Security cuts will be achieved by changing how the federal government calculates inflation, known as “chained C.P.I.” His Medicare cuts will come through either reduced payments to doctors and hospitals, or higher premiums for wealthier Medicare recipients. Obama hopes both of these changes will lure Republican moderates like Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ari., into supporting trillions of dollars in new tax hikes.

Obama’s budget will also call for hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure projects and early childhood education programs. The new pre-K programs will be funded by new taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Obama’s decision to embrace Social Security and Medicare cuts is yet another acknowledgement that his earlier strategy of hoping sequester spending cuts would force Republicans to accept tax hikes, has completely failed. A new Marist poll out this month shows that Americans have largely accepted the sequester cuts.

Unfortunately for Obama, his new entitlement-cut strategy will also fail. None of the cuts Obama has previously outlined significantly reform any of the federal government’s entitlement programs in any way. Almost all Republicans view them as just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Obama got his tax hikes in January. The more time he wastes trying to get Republicans to raise them again, the less time he has to spend on his other second term priorities.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Big Government almost always means big failures
Tim Carney: Obama admin awards Chamber of Commerce for its 2012 lobbying
Byron York: Will immigration reform kill Rubio’s presidential chances?
Conn Carroll: Coastal elites kill thousands more American energy jobs

In Other News
McClatchy Newspapers, Weekly jobless claims climb to 385,000, most in four months: First-time jobless claims unexpectedly climbed to a four-month high last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, providing more evidence that the economic recovery might be heading into another spring slowdown.
The New York Times, Social Programs Facing Cutback in Obama Budget: President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say.
Pew Research Center, Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana: For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not.
The Washington Post, North Korea’s threats unsettle South Korea: This bustling South Korean capital has been defined for decades as a place of traffic jams and luxury shopping malls, long days of work and longer nights of drinking rice liquor. Residents rarely behaved as though their routines could be upended in minutes by the Kim regime to the north and its 10,000 artillery pieces.
The Wall Street Journal, Money Spigot Opens Wider: The Bank of Japan’s new leaders delivered on their pledge to radically overhaul its strategy to revive Japan’s economy, unveiling a package of easy-money policies Thursday so aggressive in scale and tactics that it surprised investors.
The Wall Street Journal, Corzine Blasted in MF Global Autopsy: Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey governor who revved up risky trading as chief executive at MF Global deserves much of the blame for the firm’s 2011 demise, according to a bankruptcy trustee’s report released Thursday.

Lefty Playbook
Linda Greenhouse worries that a Supreme Court decision for gay marriage on federalism grounds would be bad for liberalism.
Greg Sargent flags a Marist poll showing fewer Americans believe the sequester is hurting the economy and admits that Democrats lost the sequester fight.
Brian Beutler explains why the left is winning on gay marriage but losing on gun control.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard attacks Terry McAuliffe for not taking a stand on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s prosecution of a child sodomy case.
Tyler Cowen notes that alcohol kills far more people than guns do every year and yet Democrats are not pushing for more alcohol control.
Doug Mataconis notes that the ACLU has finally joined the fight against the Democrat’s gun control plan.
Ben Domenech explains why Republican health care plans will work where Obamacare has already failed.